Zulte-Waregem- Match Report vs Waasland-Beveren 22/08/2020

In their third game of the season, Zulte-Waregem lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a stylish 4-1 victory over Waasland-Beveren. Zulte-Waregem lined up in a 4-3-3 whereas Waasland-Beveren deployed a more cautious 5-4-1. The interplay and rotation between Zulte-Waregem’s central midfielders and wingers was highly effective and key to them creating 21 chances. They retained the ball for large periods and controlled the game while managing to play some fluid attacking football.

Out of possession they shifted back into a 4-1-4-1 but here in transition is where they found most of their difficulties. Despite this, Waasland-Beveren failed to capitalise, finding it difficult to create many meaningful chances due to Zulte-Waregem’s high press. Their only goal was largely the result of some complacent defending, and the scoreline accurately reflected Zulte-Waregem’s dominance.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Ewoud Pletinckx

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of Birth: 10/10/2000
  • Current Club: Zulte-Waregem
  • Career: Zulte-Waragem
  • Position: Centre Back
  • Preferred foot: Right

Despite his young age, Pletinckx captained his side today, putting in an assured performance. Throughout, he was keen to get on the ball, always looking for a quick pass from the goalkeeper. He used the ball effectively, consistently playing progressive passes into the midfield. Generally, his passes were accurate but could be a tad slow sometimes, meaning the opposition had enough time to react and reorganize. He regularly directed his teammates telling them to come short when required. With such confidence it is no surprise he has been awarded the captaincy at only 19.

Although, he could improve his long passes which were less accurate. Overall, he completed a disappointing 50% of his long passes, compared to 87% short or medium passes, leaving him with a rather average 78% completion. Pletinckx is a confident defender and was keen to press high up the pitch, giving the opposition attackers very little time or space. 15 of his 31 passes came in the opposition half which demonstrates how high he played. He is also a competent ball carrier and, on occasion, brought the ball into midfield himself, never once appearing hurried.

Defensively, Pletinckx was sound and completed the most tackles in the game with four. He was not rash in challenges, knowing when to commit and when to instead jockey his opponent away. Positionally, he was solid, consistently cutting out any crosses swung into his box. His good positioning makes up for his rather average pace which might be an issue against sides who look to get in behind more. Luckily for Pletinckx there were only a couple of these instances today, but in these moments he struggled the most as he lost awareness of what was going on around him.

His aerial ability went largely untested in this match with most being contested by Sleck in defensive midfield. Being 6’3 it is unlikely Pletinckx would have many troubles contesting headers but his slim frame might give robust strikers more of a chance. All in all, it was a composed and confident performance from the young captain.

Rating: A2

Jannes Van Hecke

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Belgian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of Birth: 15/01/2002
  • Current Club: Zulte-Waregem
  • Career: Zulte-Waregem
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Secondary position: Attacking Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Both

On only his second league start, Van Hecke played on the left of the midfield three. He possesses natural technical ability and his capacity to use both feet to a high level gives him an added edge. Furthermore, he is a slick passer of the ball, finishing with an impressive 89% accuracy, the second highest for his side.

Throughout, he preferred to play shorter, quicker passes as opposed to longer balls, of which he only made three. His preference for quick and short passes also meant he was rarely seen dribbling extensively or shooting. As such, he registered no dribbles and no shots. He often drifted into the half spaces to link up with Vossen out wide and was adept at finding space to provide an easy option for his teammates.

Due to his tidy control and strong two feet he was able to operate comfortably in little space. His capability to move the ball between both feet made him unpredictable and allowed him to get away from defenders with relative ease. Despite his slight build and modest height of 5’7 he made good use of his arms and body when shielding the ball. Although, his stature does render him ineffective in the air and so he is fortunate to have a midfield partner in Seck who can contest aerially.

Van Hecke is quick in short bursts and so was an effective presser. He was crucial to Zulte-Waregem’s high press and timed his pressures well, showing good tactical awareness. Typically, Van Hecke’s cue to press was as soon as the ball entered the Waasland-Beveren midfield. He was able to force mistakes or dispossess opponents multiple times this way. Even though he is not the biggest player, he is an astute tackler. He manages to get his leg round the side of his opponent without conceding a foul or being turned, as a result he completed 75% of his tackles.

For a player just breaking into the first team Van Hecke looked remarkably comfortable during this game. He is highly technical and should only improve with further minutes.

Rating: A2

Omar Govea

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: Mexican
  • Age: 24
  • Date of Birth: 18/01/1996
  • Current Club: Zulte-Waregem
  • Career: Club America, Mineros (L), Porto B, Mouscron (L), Royal Antwerp (L), Zulte-Waregem
  • Position: Centre Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Govea started on right side of Zulte-Waregem’s midfield and, similarly to Van Hecke, he sought to link up with the his winger and find gaps in the half spaces. He is a technically proficient player who is most comfortable when on the ball. Often he looked to dribble the ball himself and was usually very good at this, demonstrated by his two successful dribbles, the most in the match. His great control was on display for his goal. Here he remained composed, selling the scrambling goalkeeper with a dummy before subsequently firing a powerful strike into the top corner from six yards.

However, at times Govea did hold onto the ball for longer than necessary. He is fairly slow when running with the ball and as such, if he takes too many touches it can slow the attack down. On these occasions once the ball was released, the option had either gone or Govea was off balance and so played a poor pass. Other than these instances his passing was generally sound, finishing with a 83% accuracy and one chance created before coming off on the 70th minute.

Defensively, he was often slow to get back into the 4-1-4-1 shape which left gaps that only added to his sides struggles in transition. Being only a centremetre taller than Van Hecke means Govea has similar aerial struggles. Although, he is a committed player who contested twelve duels, winning five, as well as making two successful tackles. But, he was often reckless, giving away four fouls and collecting a yellow card. He could count himself lucky not to have been sent off in the first half for two late challenges, which on another day could have resulted in two yellow cards.

Rating: B1


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